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The world's longest flight is once again available to American tourists

Oct. 11, 2021
4 min read
The world's longest flight is once again available to American tourists
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If you're looking for an aviation-focused adventure, Singapore Airlines might have a good option for you.

The airline operates the world's longest flight, from New York-JFK to Singapore. But throughout the pandemic that 9,537-mile, 19-hour route has largely been off-limits to most travelers.

Now, thanks to the recent news about Singapore relaxing entry requirements for vaccinated Americans, the flight is once again within reach for many.

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Beginning on Oct. 19, Singapore will expand its vaccinated travel lanes entry policy, which allows for quarantine-free travel between Singapore and select countries. The next tranche of countries to be added to the program include the U.S., Canada and European nations, like Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the U.K.

Travel from Singapore to these countries can be on any Singapore Airlines flight, while travel from these countries to Singapore must be on designated Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flights.

The airline has unveiled an initial list of flights that qualify for quarantine-free travel to Singapore, and the world's longest one is on the list. Singapore Flight 23 departs New York-JFK at 10:30 p.m. and arrives two days later at 5:20 a.m. The return, Singapore Flight 24, departs Singapore at 1:15 a.m. and arrives at 7:55 a.m. on the same day, all times local.

I flew the world's longest flight before the pandemic when it was operating from Newark. (The airline has since moved the service to JFK, adding three miles to the overall route.) Sitting in business class for over 17 hours was a real treat, and I arrived as refreshed as one possibly could after sitting in a metal tube for so long.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Singapore's legendary service and food and beverage program made the time fly by, though I was definitely ready to get off the plane by the end of the journey. The flight is again operated by the airline's Airbus A350-900ULR (ultra-long-range), featuring 67 business-class pods and 94 premium economy recliners.

Round-trip fares currently start at around $1,400 for premium economy or $4,000 for business class. You can book awards through Singapore's KrisFlyer loyalty program starting at 73,000 miles for premium economy, or 99,000 miles in biz. There's plenty of availability in premium economy, though biz availability is sporadic at best.

Historically, redeeming Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles has been a popular option for scoring awards in Singapore's long-haul biz, though Singapore is only now in the process of releasing partner award availability after a 14-month hiatus. Mileage Plan didn't show any availability for the world's longest flight at press time.

In addition to the world's longest flight, Singapore Airlines is also resuming service to Canada after a nearly 12-year hiatus. The airline announced on Monday that it'll add a triangle route from Singapore to Vancouver and onwards to Seattle for the busy winter holiday period between Dec. 3, 2021, and Feb. 15, 2022. This service will replace existing Singapore to Seattle nonstops previously operated by the airline.

Clearly, the carrier is hoping to capture as much demand as it can for the new travel scheme.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Though it's exciting that Singapore is reopening to Americans, there remains one big caveat that could make or break your travel plans: only certain types of vaccine cards can be used as proof of vaccination.

According to the airline, "only the Smart Health Card (SHC) format, issued by Canada or the USA on the Common Trust Network are accepted." A handful of states, including California and New York, as well as some nationwide pharmacies like CVS and Walmart, use this digital format. You can find the full list here.

If you've been vaccinated elsewhere, you'll need to wait until the country relaxes its rules to embark on this aviation-focused adventure.

Featured image by You can transfer to Singapore with both Chase and Capital One (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
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  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases